Articles, quizzes, and grammar tips for word-lovers everywhere

International Women’s Day

dictionary_critical_theory

To celebrate International Women’s Day, here is an extract on feminism from the Dictionary of Critical Theory, edited by Ian Buchanan. Please note that links in this extract are to the dictionary entries in Oxford Dictionaries Online. Feminism One of the most important social movements of the past two centuries and certainly the social movement […]

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Are you calling me a geek? Why, *thank you*

Geek

Geek has seen an interesting transformation in meaning over the last couple of decades. The word used to be a cruel and critical label attached to clever, but socially awkward, people – such as computer or science geeks. The origin of this sense of the word can be traced back to the late nineteenth century, […]

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Blurring the lines between fiction and reality

Romeo and Juliet

Have you ever been caught in a Catch-22 situation? Do you get the eerie feeling that Big Brother is watching you as you spy yet another CCTV camera filming your every move? Or perhaps you’re grinning like a Cheshire cat having just won another game of hangman on Oxford Dictionaries Online? The English language is […]

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Reverting back to another language no-no

Tautology wordle

In my fearless quest to seek out and eradicate lazy, ineffective, or just downright inaccurate English, the latest blip to appear on my radar was an example of redundancy (aka tautology), which appeared on a medical website. By returning back to a more traditional diet they become healthier and stronger. Why is this raising my […]

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Laptop wires

Are you a n00b or a netizen?

Do you think a cookie is just something in your kitchen (or your tummy)? Would it surprise you to hear that phishing is an illegal activity?  To you, is ‘browse history’ something you did during school when you were assigned more reading than you wanted to do? Volumes have been written on the effects of […]

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How a new word enters an Oxford Dictionary

New word infographic

We’ve recently updated Oxford Dictionaries Online with bajillions of new words and terms, from fnarr fnarr and nom nom to mankini and luchador. But have you ever wondered how a word earns its place in Oxford Dictionaries Online? We’ve created this handy infographic to show you the journey of a word, from its inception to […]

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Fnarr fnarr, phwoah, and mwah

Onomatopoeia

Taking a first glance at a list of recent additions to a dictionary, most of us will instinctively seek out the very new. Sometimes it’s their simple sparkle of novelty that attracts – the latest updates to Oxford Dictionaries Online include ‘upcycling’, ‘surveilling’ and ‘wantaway’; others engage through the picture they give of the world […]

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New words in Oxford Dictionaries Online. Woot!

New words in Oxford Dictionaries Online

We’ve just added a buttload of new bloggable words to Oxford Dictionaries Online. But watch out, the new additions to the dictionary are so exciting you may be tempted to let your jazz hands loose… Fnarr fnarr! TMI coming into your feature phone Everyone seems to have a feature phone today, making communication on the […]

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